Well, this is a huge fucking bummer.
Spilt Milk Festival, scheduled to take place on November 25 in Canberra, was going to be the first Australian festival to offer pill-testing services for punters. It was bound to be a landmark move that would hopefully have been the start of a new era of drug safety, and a massive drop in drug-related deaths.
You’ll notice the past tense.
Unfortunately, Spilt Milk organisers say that partner Safety Testing Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE), the group who were going to implement the pill testing initiative at the festival, failed to deliver important documentation within organisational deadlines.
In a statement released today, Spilt Milk said:
Since the ACT Government’s progressive announcement that pill testing would be conducted by STA-SAFE at this year’s Spilt Milk event, we have been awaiting STA-SAFE’s operational plan, associated risk assessment, insurance and legal framework for their trialling of pill testing on federal land.
With these items not yet received, and Spilt Milk just six weeks away, we had to submit 2017 event operation planning without STA-SAFE’s pill testing to the NCA, the owner of the land on which Spilt Milk takes place. We had to do this to ensure everything necessary was in place for the event to take place on the 25th of November.
Unfortunately, what this means is that pill testing is not able to be trialled at this year’s event.
Meanwhile, Dr David Caldicott of STA-SAFE told Hack that he has no idea what Spilt Milk are talking about: “As far as I know we provided all documentation necessary. We haven’t been consulted, we really don’t know what this is all about.”
Regardless of what went wrong, something did, and it’s a massive disappointment. Too many people have already suffered or lost their lives because of our government’s draconian approach to recreational drug use. We were all really holding out for this to be the beginning of the end of drug-related festival deaths.
Now, of course, the honour of first Aussie pill-testing will go to another festival; here’s hoping it happens soon.
Spilt Milk’s full statement is below:
It is a tough day when something you have advocated for so strongly can’t quite make it over the line. Since the ACT…
Image: Facebook / Spilt Milk